During Wednesday’s episode of the fourth hour of The Today Show, Jenna Bush Hager and Hoda Kotb spoke about the topic of addiction, particularly to alcohol. During this discussion, Hager recalled an important conversation her father, former President George W. Bush, once had with her when she was younger regarding drinking. She explained why this particular conversation had such a lasting impression upon her, according to Today.
During this discussion, Bush shared his own experiences with alcohol with his daughter, explaining to her that drinking can quickly become something that gets in the way of other things in life. He did not want that for her.
“I’ll never forget I was in Maine for my cousin’s wedding. We went for a walk, and he said, ‘I just want to talk to you about drinking — and I found in my life it got in the way of the things that mattered most — and I want to make sure that you just know that it can and be aware of it,”’ she recalled.
Hager didn’t have a drinking problem herself but her father’s words still stuck with her and she thinks about that conversation to this day. It has even had an effect on how she parents her own children.
“But I do think it was such a model to me about how I want to parent, which is to be transparent about either things that have happened in our family’s past, or things that you know that can happen to your kids,” she told Kotb.
While Bush never needed to go to Alcoholics Anonymous, he did eventually end up cutting alcohol out of his life altogether. Hager explained that for him, he gave up alcohol so that he could pursue his dreams and focus on his priorities without distraction. This included parenting without interruption.
It’s because of this conversation that Hager doesn’t reach for a glass of wine at the end of a stressful day, even if she may be tempted to do so every once in a while.
While Hager and Kotb usually stick to lighter topics during the fourth hour of the Today Show, their conversation shifted to this more serious topic due to Ben Affleck’s recent tell-all interview during which he discussed his problems with alcoholism, as The Inquisitr previously reported. Affleck’s substance abuse problems were highly documented by the press. Nevertheless, after his third stint in rehab, he was able to get things under control and has now been sober for over a year.